If you have a government check or any government benefit such as tax refunds, social security, etc., you may be wondering where can I cash a government check. There are banks and other financial institutions where you can cash your check, but if you don’t have an account, there are other options to cash in your check.
In this write-up, we are going to mention all the options, their advantages, and disadvantages when you cash in your government check.
What is a Government Check?
A Government check is issued by various bodies in the U.S. government. The check can be for various reasons including social security, tax refunds, social welfare, and military pension. Each check looks different depending on the type of check given by the government. Now, to cash these checks, there are locations where you can go: national stores or major grocery stores. At Walmart, you can cash your retirement disbursements. Some of the types of government checks.
- Stimulus checks.
- Tax refund checks.
- Other government checks.
Where Can I Cash My Government Checks?
When you receive a government check, you may be wondering how to cash government checks. The check can be of any type, tax refund, social security, or any other type of government check. You do not need a bank account to cash in a check, there are various options known as check cashing services. These consist of grocery stores, retail banks, and credit unions. To cash your check in a check cashing center you will need a government-issued ID card. However, in some places, you can cash in your check without any ID. These are various services and institutions that cash government checks.
You can always cash in your check at the local bank, or with a bank who cashes government checks, and in which you have an account. It is the best option for someone wondering about where can I cash a government check for free as they don’t charge a fee for their existing customer.
Even if you don’t have one, you can always apply for one and open an account. If you don’t have an account, you may be thinking, can a bank put a hold on a government check? No, you can still you can cash in your check. There are some checks such as tax refunds that are issued directly by the U.S. treasury which banks cash even if you are not holding an account in their bank. Although, there is a fee that you will have to pay to cash the check.
2. Grocery Stores
There are many grocery stores, discount stores, and convenience stores such as Walmart, Giant, Publix, Circle k, Giant Eagle, and Dominick’s that cash government checks for a cost. For example, Walmart cashes a check for a cost of $4.00 up to $1,000 and $ 8.00 up to $5,000. Their max limit to cash a check is $5,000. However, from January to April their limit increases to $7,500. You can cash your stimulus check, pre-payroll checks, and government checks at Walmart. Similarly, other stores charge a fee to cash in your check. Make sure to carry any government-issued id for verification.
3. Check-Cashing Establishments
Suppose you do not live near any banks or convenience stores where you can go and cash in your check. In that case, check cashing services like Ace Cash Express, Check Into Cash and Money Mart can be your last resort. These facilities usually charge higher than most banks ranging between 2% to 10% of the total check amount. You need to have a government-issued ID to cash in your check. You also have the choice to cash a check at an ATM.
4. Endorse the Check to Someone Else
If you can’t use any of the services to cash in your check, you can endorse a check for someone else, like your trusted friend or a family member, who cashes government checks, and has an account in a bank. The process to endorse a check is pretty simple, on the back of a check, there is a line for endorsing or depositing to the person you want.
You have to write on this line “Pay to the order of (insert the name of the person you want to endorse)” and sign underneath it. When that person goes to deposit the check, the bank will see your signature and identify you as the recipient. Usually, not every financial institution accepts an endorsed check, so make sure to check the bank policies when you want to endorse a check.
How to Cash a Government Check?
To cash a check there are some steps you have to follow:
- Search for some of the check cashing services near your locality by typing in any search engine “where can I cash a government check ”.
- Take the check to the cashing service, and a fee will be deducted from the total cash amount.
- Before going to check your cash make sure to carry the necessary id required. You should know your social security number or taxpayer identification number.
- If the check contains two names, both of them should be present while cashing the check.
- After your verification, you can cash government checks.
Documents Required for Cashing Your Check
Now, as mentioned above you need to know your social security number (SSN) or taxpayer identification number before cashing your check. You will need an ID for the verification process unless you look for where can I cash a government check without an id. The list of accepted IDs:
- Driver’s License (US Only)
- State‐issued ID
- Military ID
- Matricula Consular ID
- Passport U.S. issued
- Any type of reservation ID or Tribal ID.
Cashing a Government Check Without an Account?
If you don’t have your own bank account, you may be wondering where can I cash a government check. There are various check cashing services where you can go to cash your checks, and you will not need an account at a particular place. You can also learn how to enable government check on cash app. These check-cashing services include some retail banks, credit unions, and private stores. Some of the most popular stores to cash your check will be:
Merits and Demerits of Cashing a Check at These Locations
Now, like with everything, there are some merits and demerits to cashing a government check at one of these check-cashing services. Let’s look at them:
- Well, to cash a government check, stores have the most convenient and easy procedure.
- You can receive your cash right away. In comparison, deposit forms at banks take several hours or days sometimes to cash a check. This is helpful for people having an immediate need for money.
- Stores, compared to banks, have more flexible working hours. You can cash in your check whenever it is convenient for you. In terms of banks, they have limited hours of service, and they are closed during the weekends as well.
- If you live in an area that doesn’t have access to banks, it is tough to cash terrier checks in a bank. So, it becomes convenient for them to cash in their check at a store.
- Check cashing services charge a fee for cashing government checks. This charge may range from $4 to $8, depending upon the amount on the check.
- Most check cashing centers do not require ID proof, which may be dangerous. For example, if you lose your check, anyone can come in, and cash that check without your authorization.
- There is no insurance. If you lose your check, and someone cashes it without your knowledge, you will not be repaid in any situation. You have to be extremely careful while handling your check if you plan on using a check cashing service.
Some Alternatives to Check Cashing Services
Besides grocery stores and allotted check cashing services, there are other options as well. Some of them are:
- Mobile Check Deposit App
Nowadays, some apps allow you to deposit paper checks in your account, through the internet. You do not need a bank or a financial institution to deposit your check, saving you a lot of time and money.
To deposit a check using this app, all that you are required to do is take a picture of the check with a mobile check deposit app, and upload it onto the app. The app scans the check, and deposits the amount in your account automatically. Apps like PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, etc. can help you deposit your government check online.
- Prepaid Card
There is an option other than using a mobile app, you can cash your check with the help of a prepaid card. You can spend money with your prepaid debit card, just like a regular credit card. Some popular prepaid cards are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. You have to pay an activation fee before using a prepaid card, which is usually $5.00.
- Cashing Check with Some Other Account
You can ask a trusted friend or family member to cash the check through their account, and give you the money. This can be done if you sign the check in their name. However, the banks will not be responsible if you do not receive any payment.
Do You Need an ID to Cash a Check?
Usually, a check cashing service does not require an official form of ID to cash government checks. Therefore, if you are wondering how to cash a government check without ID, we will guide you. Usually, these services do not require any verification or ID, and are prone to fraudulent activity and identity theft. You have to be extremely careful while handling your check, if you plan on cashing in your check at these places.
Apart from driving licenses, check cashing services also accepts ids such as
- A passport (U.S. issued)
- A state-verified ID.
- Military ID.
- Student or university ID card (only taken in special cases).
Q1. How can I cash government checks without a bank account?
There are multiple ways to cash a government check, without having a bank account. Some of the ways include grocery stores, check cashing centers, or endorsing a check to a trusted friend or a family member.
Q2. Can I cash government checks at Walmart?
Yes, you can. You will need a government-issued ID for verification. However, there is a charge that you have to pay to cash in a check. Walmart cashes a check for a cost of $4.00 up to $1,000 and $ 8.00 up to $5,000.
Q3. Will my bank cash a government check?
You can cash in your government check at your local bank in which you have an account. You will not have to pay any fee for it. If you do not have one, you can still cash your government checks. Although, you have to pay a fee for it.
Q4. Does the post office cash US Treasury checks?
Yes, post offices do cash in government checks. However, the check should not be 1 year old.
There are multiple ways to cash in your government check and you don’t need to have a bank account for that. Government checks like tax refunds, social security, and stimulus checks can be cashed in banks in which you have an account free of cost.
You can even cash it in a grocery store for a fee ranging from $4 to $8 or you can endorse a check to your trusted friend. For cashing your check, you will need a government-issued ID. However, some check cashing services cash a check without ID. Although these types of services do not require any verification or IDs, they are prone to fraud and identity theft. So be careful.
- David Garcia is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps people make smart decisions with their money. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, and CNBC as well as in The New York Times & other media outlets. With more than 13 years of experience in the personal finance space, David is an experienced writer and researcher. He has written for major publications where he provides readers with actionable advice to save money on groceries, insurance, and more. With his work for various publications, David is an active contributor to the Credit Card Insider blog where he shares insights into credit cards such as rewards programs and interest rates.